Opill, the first over-the-counter birth control pill, is set to hit drugstores, grocery stores and online shelves in the first quarter of 2024. But the real challenge lies ahead: Will it be affordable and truly accessible to all?
For years, reproductive health advocates have argued that removing the time-consuming requirement for a prescription to access birth control pills would improve accessibility and allow people greater autonomy in their contraceptive choices.
Opill is a progestin-only oral contraceptive pill, boasting a success rate as high as 98 percent in preventing pregnancies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hailed the approval of Opill as a breakthrough that could “reduce barriers to access” for those seeking contraception.
Perrigo Company, the pharmaceutical company behind Opill, has committed to improving access to contraception in alignment with the FDA. “Perrigo is proud to lead the way in making contraception more accessible to women in the U.S.,” said Murray Kessler, president and CEO of Perrigo, in a 2023 press release. “We are motivated by the millions of people who need easy access to safe and effective contraception.”
However, the promise of accessibility hinges on the crucial factor of affordability.